Lent 2019

6th March is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the season of Lent – 40 days of reflection and contemplation as we think about Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness and, then, as we draw nearer to Holy Week, as we enter into the story of his Passion.

Lent is a time for us to reflect upon our faith – upon the beliefs and values that are important to us and that shape our lives. It is also often a time when people ‘give up’ something or ‘take on’ something extra – a particular commitment which can challenge us and take us our of our usual comfort zones.

To reflect this mixture of contemplation and challenge which lies at the heart of Lent, there will be various events taking place throughout March and April.

On Saturday 2nd March, we will be holding a Parish Quiet Morning at Holy Trinity from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon. This will provide space to pray, worship and reflect as we prepare to enter into the season. Then, on Ash Wednesday, we will be holding a special contemplative service in the evening at 7.30 pm. Everyone is very welcome to both events.

Lenten challenge can be found in two other initiatives: Firstly, we will be running a Parish Lent Course on Tuesday evenings, 7.30 pm, at Furzebank. The Course is entitled, ‘Talking Jesus’ and is all about encouraging us to grow more confident in talking about our faith and sharing what we believe with family, friends and work colleagues. The first session will take place on 12th March and the course will run until 16th April. Secondly, during the Sundays in Lent, I will be encouraging our congregation to take part in ‘The Lent Shadowing Challenge’. The Challenge will be asking each member to spend just one Sunday in Lent shadowing/helping someone as they do their normal job in church. For example, being with the people who normally get the Church ready for worship and helping them set up; being with the people who normally make the drinks after the service and helping them in the kitchen; help with running the lap-top and projector and making sure the service is playing correctly on the screen. There are lots of important roles that certain people take on during a Sunday morning, and the idea of the Challenge is to encourage more people to ‘have a go’ and to become more confident in getting involved. In this way, we can share more of our Sunday morning work with more people and so make everything easier for everyone – rather than relying each week on the ‘faithful few’.

Do please consider how you can become more involved and how you will choose to mark the season of Lent. It is one of the most important times in the Church’s year; so please pray and think about how you spend times of quiet and contemplation and also how you can allow yourself to be challenged.

Wishing you a Holy and Life-giving Lent.

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